FTSE 250 movers: Sophos surges on results; M&B slumps as profit drops
(ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 250 was down 0.6% to 19,764.19 in afternoon trade.
Cyber security company Sophos - whose shares have benefited from the recent 'WannaCry' security hack - racked up strong gains after its full-year results beat expectations with reported billings up 18.2% and a big hike in the dividend.
Countryside Properties rallied after it said full-year profit was likely to be ahead of market expectations and reported a 31% jump in half-year completions and an increase in profit.
Acacia Mining and Hochschild shone as gold prices rallied on safe-haven demand amid worries about US President Donald Trump.
On the downside, pub group Mitchells & Butlers fell after it reported a drop in profit for the 28 weeks to 8 April despite a rise in sales as it pointed to increased costs and exchange rate movements. Profit before tax fell to £75m from £83m in the first half of 2016, despite total revenue nudging up to £1.12bn from £1.1bn.
Shares in Auto Trader skidded after Berenberg initiated coverage of the stock at 'buy' with a 350p price target. It said that while the company has a clear market-leading position and is likely to report solid top-line growth in the coming years, there are good reasons to believe this growth might be slower and less profitable than consensus is expecting. It added that the stock's valuation is unappealing, particularly relative to its online peers, with downside risk to the premium multiples.
Dunelm was hit by a downgrade at HSBC to 'hold' from 'buy'. "There is justified concern about a consumer downturn in the UK and Dunelm is exposed to this," it said.
Spectris declined after it reported mixed trading over the year to date and announced the appointment of a new chairman.
Sophos Group (SOPH) 402.40p 8.82%
SIG (SHI) 132.10p 4.02%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 289.70p 3.13%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 300.80p 3.05%
IP Group (IPO) 147.30p 2.94%
Berendsen (BRSN) 865.00p 2.43%
Inchcape (INCH) 854.50p 2.34%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 435.40p 2.16%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 276.80p 2.14%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 202.00p 2.02%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 262.00p -4.73%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 403.50p -3.77%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 593.00p -3.73%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,029.00p -2.74%
Spectris (SXS) 2,670.00p -2.41%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,897.00p -1.91%
CYBG (CYBG) 275.30p -1.89%
Redefine International (RDI) 38.32p -1.72%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 485.00p -1.70%
Evraz (EVR) 190.70p -1.70%